Monthly Archives: March 2017


March Gardening Tips

Hello Friends, Neighbors, Fellow Gardeners,

March is Orchid Month and there are plenty of activities in the area where you can visit and learn about Orchids!  Here are some garden tips, educational opportunities, and events for March. Events include St. Patrick’s Day Green and Growing Scavenger Hunt, Philadelphia Flower Show, Brookside Gardens Orchid Show and Sale, an Orchid Care program on Tuesday, March 28th at our Mill Creek Towne Garden Club’s meeting, and more!


  • Mark beds outside where new plants will go.
  • Design new beds and gardens.
  • Plan landscape design projects.
  • Collect supplies for starting seeds.
  • Attend a local garden club meeting.
  • Go on a local house or garden tour to see what plants are thriving in other’s area home gardens:

Flowers and Groundcovers:

  • Do not work soil when too wet.
  • Remove and discard dead annuals and old growth on perennials.
  • Add organic matter to beds.
  • Divide perennials.
  • Weed by hand to avoid disturbing newly forming roots.daffodils
  • Start seeds for: Cosmos, Celosia, Impatiens, Petunias, Tall Marigolds, Tall Zinnias
  • If you started seeds last month, thin them and start the hardening-off process.
  • Cut your Daffodils for indoor bouquets, but do not combine with other flowers in a vase. They give off a toxic substance that may kill your other blooms prematurely.
  • Plant and prune roses.
  • Buy or check on your stored summer bulbs (such as dahlias and caladiums). Pot them and start to water, if you want to give them an early start in the season.
  • Mulch bare areas.
  • Water transplants if weather is dry.
  • Pests to watch for: aphids, slugs, snails, deer, squirrels
  • Diseases to watch for:  Damping off of seedlings.
  • See UMD’s HGIC’s March Flower tips for more details.

Trees and Shrubs:

  • Prune broken, dead, or diseased branches.
  • Plan to plant a tree for Arbor Day on April 5th.20150412_155828
  • Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs before new growth.
  • Prune out Eastern tent caterpillar egg masses.
  • Prune summer-flowering trees, except crepe myrtle.
  • Prune butterfly bush to 8″–10″.
  • Rejuvenate prune hollies.
  • Fertilize plants not getting ready to bloom if needed.
  • Cut some branches (forsythia, quince, bittersweet, redbud, willow, etc.) for forcing into bloom and enjoying indoors.
  • Test soil pH on some hydrangeas and adjust: pH 5–5.5 for blue; pH 6–6.5 for pink.
  • Keep watering newly planted trees and shrubs as needed.
  • Water slowly and deeply if weather is very dry and ground is not frozen.
  • Pests to watch for: Eastern tent caterpillar.
  • Diseases to watch for: Fireblight Phomopsis on new growth of juniper, Cytospora canker on Spruce.
  • See HGIC’s March Trees and Shrubs Tips for more details.

Herbs, Veggies, and Fruit:

  • Turn under cover crop when soil has warmed enough and is not too wet.
  • Fertilize established asparagus, tree, bramble fruits, and strawberries.
  • Prune grapevines.
  • Plant potatoes.
  • Start seeds for tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers inside.Herb_garden_Kent_Phillips-498x292
  • Nearly all herbs can be grown from seeds. See this article for how to grow and care for herbs. Herbs – General Culture and Care/Sowing Herb Seeds
  • Put up trellises and teepees for peas and beans to climb on.
  • Build a raised bed for vegetables. Add lots of manure and compost.
  • Direct-sow early, cool-season crops as soon as ground can be worked. Good choices are peas, lettuces, mustards, onion sets, kale, and cabbages.
  • Protect tender plants by covering them up with some type of cloth material, if an unusually cold day or night is forecast. Be sure to uncover when it warms up.
  • Pests to watch for: rabbits, deer, woodchucks, birds.
  • Diseases to watch for: Damping off of seedlings. Fireblight of pears and apples.
  • Here are some more fruit and vegetable gardening tips for March from UMD’s HGIC.


  • Dethatch if necessary and plug aerate BEFORE applying weed control.
  • To control crab grass and/or broadleaf weed, apply pre-emergent herbicide to lawn (when forsythia blooms drop).
  • Test soil if you haven’t already. Add lime, compost, etc. as needed.
  • Start lawn seeding. Reseed bare spots or overseed (through early April).
  • Clean yard of all leaves and other debris.20151121_150638
  • Cut perennials and over-wintering ornamental grasses to 2 inches above ground.
  • Apply pre-emergent weed control such as corn gluten.
  • Turn your compost pile weekly and don’t let it dry out. Work compost into your planting beds.
  • Diseases to watch for: dollar spot, brown patch and red thread
  • Pests to watch for: Grubs, voles
  • See HGIC’s March Lawn Tips for more details.


  • Repot larger plants that are going outside for the summer.
  • Repot root-bound houseplants and start fertilizing them.
  • Buy an indoor plant to liven up your office space. Try an orchid or African violet.orchids
  • Remove old leaves and damaged stems.
  • Mist indoor plants and set up a humidifier or at least place them in pebble trays.
  • Continue to rotate houseplants to promote even growth.
  • Pests to watch for: aphids, spidermites, mealybug, scale.
  • See HGIC’s March Houseplants Tips for more tips.

Indoor/Outdoor Insect and Wildlife Tips:

  • Feed birds and provide nesting material (try dryer lint) as well as houses for the start of their family season.
  • Keep bird feeders clean and filled and provide a source of water.
  • Check indoors for termites and winter ants.raccoon_on_snow
  • Set out traps for mice, moles, and voles.
  • See HGIC’s March Insect Tips for more details.
  • Watch for: carpenter ants, flies, stink bugs, termites, rabbits, raccoons, groundhogs, deer, moles, snakes, squirrels, and voles.
  • For more information on wildlife management and attracting wildlife see HGIC’s March Wildlife tips.

Source: University of Maryland’s Home and Garden Information Center (HGIC) and the Washington Gardener.

Please Support the Mill Creek Towne Garden Club

Hello Friends, Neighbors,

Please support the Mill Creek Towne Garden Club! Your donations will help us continue to provide garden-related programs to the community and pay for maintaining and landscaping the Mill Creek Towne main entrances. donate-today-button

We accept donations throughout the year. Thanks to all of you that have recently donated as well as those of you who have supported us in the past years! Thanks for your continued support of the Mill Creek Towne Garden Club and our community programs!

Mill Creek Towne Garden Club – Derwood, Maryland | | Like us on Facebook


See below for upcoming local events in March.







Montgomery Parks Special Events & Festivals

More events are being added regularly. Please check back often!

Save the dates for these upcoming Spring events!   Events include St. Patrick’s Day Green and Growing Scavenger Hunt, Philadelphia Flower Show, Brookside Gardens Orchid Show and Sale, an Orchid Care program on Tuesday, March 28th at our Mill Creek Towne Garden Club’s meeting, and more!


Philadelphia Flower Show

Tuesday, March 14 / 8:00am – 8:00pm ORholland_philadelphia_flower_show
Thursday, March 16 / 10:00am – 10:00pm

Cost: $90, FOBG: $90

A perennial favorite, the Philadelphia International Flower Show is always a crowd-pleaser. Join us for HOLLAND: Flowering the World – From towering windmills, wooden shoes and delectable cheeses, to the whimsical bicycles, canals and vibrant tulip fields of the iconic Dutch landscape, the 2017 Flower Show will share the diverse stories of horticulture, innovative eco-design, and modern urban greening and sustainability efforts of the Netherlands. Fee includes coach transportation and entrance fee. Your lunch/dinner may be purchased at the show or the nearby Reading Terminal Market.

Brookside Gardens Orchid Show and Sale

Saturday, March 18th and Sunday, March 19th

Brookside Gardens Visitors Center
1800 Glenallan Avenue
Wheaton, MD, US 20902

The annual weekend-long Friends of Brookside Gardens Orchid Show and Sale will be held at the Visitors CenterBrookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD on Saturday, March 18 from 10 AM to 4 PM and Sunday, March 19, from 10 AM to 3 PM.

Mill Creek Towne Garden Club Meeting Topic: Orchid Care

Tuesday, March 28, 201720160313_142035
7:30 p.m.

Please plan to join us for a program on orchid care at our upcoming March meeting where we will learn about Orchid Care from Steve Robinson, Master Gardener.

Mill Creek Towne Elementary School
Teacher’s Lounge
17700 Park Mill Drive
Derwood, MD 20855

For questions or to RSVP, contact us at


Earth Day Festival

Sunday, April 23 | Noon – 4pm
Brookside Gardens and Brookside Nature Center, Wheatonearth day

Our planet is priceless! Come to Brookside to celebrate our world, and learn ways to keep it healthy. Join us in the morning for a volunteer project in the gardens. The afternoon offers something for everyone: a green craft fair, native plant sale, community art project, family activities, tours of the Gardens, live music with the band Nature Jams, and more. Hope to see you there!

Save the Date!

Native Plant Sale

Friday, April 28 | 3pm – 7pm
Saturday, April 29 | 10am – 3pm

Black-Eyed_Susan photo
Black-Eyed Susan

Sunday, April 30 | 1pm – 3pm
Black Hill Visitors Center, Boyds
20926 Lake Ridge Drive
Boyds, Maryland 20841


Shop ’til you drop for nursery-propagated native wildflowers for your yard and garden, many of which are nectar and host plants for butterflies. The sale is offered by the Friends of Black Hill Nature Programs (FOBH), and all proceeds are donated to Black Hill Nature Programs. Are you a Friend? If so, then you’re in luck! There’s a FOBH Members Only preview sale on Thursday April 28 from 5 – 7 pm. Visit our website to view the plant list and download the application to become a Friend. No registration required. The site of the sale is at the fenced area across from the Black Hill Park Office; look for the sign.


Spring Grow It Eat It Event

Saturday, April 29th

Montgomery County Extension (Agricultural History Farm Park)
18410 Muncaster Road
Derwood MD 20855growiteatit_April2017

The Grow It Eat It Spring Event is April 29! There are activities for adults and children. Master Gardener consultants will be answer your gardening questions at our plant clinic. Attend our event classes, workshops*, and children’s programs*.

Event Classes/Workshops:

Grow It Eat It Spring Event
Girl Scouts
Boy Scouts
Discovery Program